Dota 2

Drowning Pool – Bodies

So as not to detract from my conspiracy theory/tirade with explanations of the game itself, simply go here to witness it in action – choose any of the With My Heart videos.

Playing DotA 2 is an exercise in futility and frustration. Nevertheless, I’ve likely spent far more time playing Dota than any other game. Easily thousands of hours, over the more than a decade. Yet, despite that playtime, a long history of strategy gaming, my high statistics, and my fucking intelligence, I’m consistently ranked around average in Dota’s system. Ontop of that, my account is regularly prevented from communicating with other players, and forced into the “punishment bracket;” both due to reports from other players.

To summarize, Dota, which I love dearly, does not give back to me – like everything else in my life. Why continue, you might wonder. Strategy, for me, is a nearly holy activity. While the cultists religious pray to hollow fantasies, worshiping the irrationality which causes all their problems, I obey logic. Competitive strategy is logic taken form, in motion. She is beautiful. For in competition, delusional emotionality dies the peasant’s death it deserves.

Unfortunately, programmers, marketeers, accountants, and such, are not strategists. Accordingly, their priorities for the Dota community aren’t exactly inline with honoring the sanctity of logic. Thus their match making system, and their management of player behavior. These systems, which could genuinely create a healthy community and foster a respect for sportsmanship, are instead designed to make money. Though this is understandable, give that the game is completely free.

So, while I can’t really complain, I can explain my perspectives on this substantial component of my life. From a large amount of personal observation, and a little testing, I’ve noticed the ranking system, which determines which types of people you are forced to play with, is complete shit. According to Valve, the system is designed to give a 50% chance that either team wins. Which seems technically true.

Valve, oddly enough, won’t reveal the match-making algorithms for the largest competitive strategy game in the world – I don’t count LoL as strategy, as its too simplistic. Anyway, let’s theorize why Valve might hide those formulas. Let’s say the algorithms, true to their word, creates games wherein there is a 50% chance of either team winning. But, instead of that chance being determined by the players actions within the game, it’s determined by something entirely unrelated.

I suggest that Dota’s match-making is not designed to make matches inwhich players are of approximate skill levels. Instead, its designed to bolster the number of Dota 2 players. To increase their player-base, Valve functionally forces every individual player –no matter their skill level– to be on the winning team 50% of the time. In regularly “winning,” the players get to imagine they aren’t dipshits, whom should be under bridges, getting fucked by dogs for drug money.

Thus encouraged by their unearned victories, they play more. Now, as they play more, they buy more cosmetic bullshit from Valve. Also, due to the match system secretly forcing that 50/50 ratio, players get friends to play with them, hoping to increase their odds of winning. That, of course, perpetuates the cycle of increasing the player base.

Now, add Valve’s management of player conduct to my little theory. Essentially, every player can report any other player, for anything. Each player has a limited amount of these reports. Unfortunately, Valve doesn’t seem to analyze the validity of those reports, but only their quantity. That is to say, you can be reported for doing nothing, yet still be punished by Valve, and visa versa.

The forced 50% win ratio brings in the rabble, whom simply can’t handle strategy. Being unable to handle strategy, they tend to be idiots. Being idiots, they tend to be highly emotional. Being highly emotional, they tend to report people for anything and everything that upsets their simple minds – which can be anything and everything. Just recently, I was reported by my teammates, in a match wherein I had 17 kills and 1 death; they all had negative statistics. That sort of thing happens all the time.

The completely unfair matches, that are ultimately just one team steamrolling the other, drives away the mature gamers. The report system, favoring the emotional masses, does the same. Again, this all comes down to Valve making money on a game that they offer for free. Which is fine. Just be honest about it.

But hey, its only a theory. Maybe I just tell myself all this to excuse my standing in the ranks, and regular punishment from Valve. Alternatively, maybe due to my high statistics, the flawed match-making algorithms force me onto atrocious teams, assuming I can miraculously create a win. Or maybe, because I have a tendency to make twats cry, and am thus consistently reported, Valve forces me low on the rankings. Or maybe my high play rate, combined with not buying cosmetics, encourages the algorithms to put me on losing teams, so that I quit playing out of frustration?

Interestingly, there was a game called Heroes of Newerth, which was a near-duplicate of Dota. In that game, before match-making, a player could use a third party program which gathered the publicly available player statistics [odd that Valve hides them]. Once gathered, this program would apply a formula which gave players a skill rating. For a few months, I ran this program for all my games, and kicked anyone with low ratings. During those months, I consistently had solid and fair games. Strange that Valve, a gargantuan company, lacks the resources to reproduce this simplistic program.

Anyway. Why have I played all these years, and continue to do so? The game itself might be the best teambased multiplayer game in existence. But, like with life, you just gotta tolerate all the pointless bullshit perpetuated by the brainless masses. Plus, Valve wasn’t always raping it for pig-greed.


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~ by Louis Naughtic on July 21, 2016.

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